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Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
The killing of Mayor Palmer is being placed on Paul Moody by fingerprint expert Jim Stover as Moody's prints were found on the murder weapon. When reporter Brad Evans places doubt in Stover's mind that the fingerprints were Moodys, he decides to investigate further with the help of the mayor's daughter Carolyn. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie was clearly made on a low budget. Its idea of action is having a character open a balsa wood door. Rarely have I seen a movie so obvious in its poverty.
The lot has potential: A fingerprint expert's testimony sends a man to the chair. He is sure of himself and we don't like him. But he is convinced to reconsider and he does so. Indeed, he tries to solve the mystery. He knows he initially made a mistake.
The actors are rather wooden but OK. What really sinks it are the recurring attempts at comic relief: Sid Melton (of whom I have never before heard) keeps turning up. Generally he is an inept photographer.
Not only do his scenes defy logic: The police know he can't handle a camera. They wouldn't let him keep trying to snap photos at crime scenes. Also, though, he simply is not funny. He pushes so hard as to make Abbott and Costello seem like Restoration Comedy.
(He's demanding, too. It seems as if he keeps wanting us to say how adorable he is. As I say, I have never seen or heard of him before this but he is most unappealing here. And I in fact don't find him adorable.)
The studio must have done what it could to get this thing an audience. But they miscalculated. A terrible product, after all, does not lie.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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